Child protection Center of Zagreb will be a meeting point of representatives of 15 European countries committed to developing and implementing child-friendly, multidisciplinary and inter-agency services for child victims and witnesses of violence on February 3rd and 4th, 2016. This is the first of several meetings organized within the framework of the project named Promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services (PROMISE). Once more, Child Protection Center of Zagreb has been recognized as an example of good practice, and has been chosen as one of the child-friendly multi-disciplinary and inter-agency services, which will be presented to the project participants. The remaining study visits will be held at the Child and Youth Trauma Centre (Kenter Jeugdhulp) in Haarlem, Netherlands and Barnahus Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Last week, Vedran Rakinić, president of the association „Aikido for Children of Croatia“ visited Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, regarding the theme of promoting nonviolence, which we approach from different theoretical and practical positions, but with very similar ideas.
Vedran Rakinić contacted Child and Youth Protection Center after a broadcast on Croatian radiotelevision HRT 4 where Mia Roje, psychologist from Center spoke about violence among the children. We learned that Aikido is a Japanese martial art that promotes nonviolence and safety, self-confidence, self-awareness, as well as strong spirit and health as the highest priorities in life. To avoid confusing the term “martial”, aikido, on one hand, does not include fighting with others, but is based on non-violent conflict resolution, which means creating new harmonious relationships of involved individuals where there are no winners or losers; on the other hand , the child is “fighting” in personal daily challenges to be better, more relaxed, more self-confident, and in negative circumstances, progressively positive and self-aware. Throughout the exercise the child learns how to deal better with family, friends, animals and the nature surrounding it. Aikido teaches how to solve aggressive situations and apply aikido principles without hurting anyone while at the same time protecting themselves and others.
To “Aikido for Children of Croatia” we wish luck in further work and hope for a successful cross-sectoral co-operation for the goals of child protection.